INGREDIENTS FOR TABOULI:
1 bunch - parsley (regular/curly – Italian flat leaf is a favorite for some; I find its flavor slightly overpowering for this recipe. Use only the leaves as the stems are very fibrous and turn bitter. Always rinse parsley just prior to use.)
Tomatoes - cherry (5-6) or plum (3-4) tomatoes are best, as there is less liquid. Regular tomato (1), remove seeds before processing.
¼ small or medium onion – you pick your favorite.
½ Cucumber (optional) – seeded or use English cucumber. (Peel the cucumber if it’s not organic.) Some people prefer the flavor w/o cucumber – try both & see.
1 clove garlic – peeled, medium-sized.
¼ cup sprouted pine nuts or almonds – See Sprouting Nuts.
2 tbls olive oil – cold-pressed, extra-virgin.
Juice of 1-2 Lemons – some lemons give more juice, so again, Everything is to taste.
Fresh Mint leaves (optional)
Sea salt – to taste
DIRECTIONS FOR TABOULI:
1) - Place garlic and pine nuts in food processor and process until minced.
2) - Add parsley and mint leaves (a little at a time depending on the size of your food processor) and process until finely chopped. (At this point, if you have a small processor, place chopped ingredients into a bowl to combine all ingredients after they are processed.)
3) - If using cucumber, add at this time and chop.
4) - Add olive oil, lemon juice and tomatoes. Pulse the processor until the tomatoes are chopped.
5) - Salt to taste.
6) - If using mint, finely chop a few fresh mint leaves into the salad just before serving. Mint goes black and bitter after it is cut, so don’t put it into any tabouli you are going to keep for later.
In Lebanon and Syria, where tabouli originated, it is often eaten by scooping it up in Romaine lettuce leaves.
Everything is to taste. Remember, recipes are a guideline, not a rule. If something is crucial to the recipes success, I’ll tell you. Otherwise, personalize it - have fun, mix it up – enjoy!
TIPS, TRICKS & TECHNIQUES:
~ Fresh mint goes black & bitter after it’s cut, so always cut it in just prior to serving
~ It is important to use fresh parsley. As it yellows, it turns bitter.
~ I travel a lot, so I use a Cuisinart Smart Stick w/ attachments. The chopper attachment is a food processor w/ a 2 cup capacity. This is great for me as I like to make things fresh and usually in small batches. When I make larger batches of recipes, I simply process each ingredient separately and place them all into a mixing bowl as I go. If you often do larger batches, you might prefer a processor with a larger capacity. There are many options available.
~ Not all food processors are the same. Play with yours to figure out what works best. Some can take all ingredients at once and just push the button while others need a little at a time and maybe a good shake to get the ingredients to combine. Don’t be afraid to tap it, shake it, knock it – if it can’t withstand this basic torture, it’s time to upgrade to a better quality unit.
If you don’t have a food processor
~ Everything can be done with a knife. It takes a little longer for some, but now you only have the knife to wash.
~ Make sure you use a good quality, sharp knife or this will be a very frustrating experience.
~ Garlic presses work great, or use the side of your knife blade to smash the garlic before chopping it. This brings out more of the garlic juices, better mixing the flavor with the rest of the ingredients vs. just getting an occasional, intense bite of garlic.
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